Exam Exemption for CMSRN Exam

If you are currently certified as a medical-surgical nurse through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), you may be eligible to earn the CMSRN credential-without having to take another exam!

Why You Should Attain the CMSRN Credential

With the CMSRN credential, you will be recognized as a medical-surgical nurse. CMSRN clearly identifies the specialty.

This is the only medical-surgical certification endorsed by the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN), the professional association representing this specialty.

How Will CMSRN Certification Affect My RN-BC Certification?

CMSRN certification will not affect your RN-BC certification. Some medical-surgical nurses keep both credentials, and that is your choice. MSNCB is a separate organization from ANCC and we do not notify ANCC of your CMSRN certification.


Exam Exemption Application Process

At the time of application, you must be in the last year of your current medical-surgical certification and meet the same eligibility criteria as recertifying CMSRNs. You are eligible if you:

  • Hold a current medical-surgical nursing certification within 1 year of expiration and
  • Hold a current RN license or foreign equivalent and
  • Have accrued 1000 practice hours in a med-surg setting in the last 5 years and
  • Have earned 90 contact hours in the last 5 years

Read more on eligibility requirements.

Application Deadlines

Exam exemption applications must be submitted to MSNCB 30 days prior to your current certification expiration date to avoid a late fee.

If your ANCC certification expired, you are eligible to apply for exam exemption for up to one year after. You need to submit your application at least 30 days prior to the end of your grace period. There are no exceptions or extensions to the grace period. After this period, certification through MSNCB must be obtained by examination.

Applications for exam exemption must be completed by mail. Contact MSNCB to request an application.

Certification is valid for a period of 5 years and expires at the end of the month in which you were originally certified. The requirements for recertification must be fulfilled within the stated time period in order to remain certified. Accrual of continuing education credits for the next five-year cycle begins after your recertification date.

Exam Exemption Application Fees

AMSN Member

Applications submitted after the application deadline will be assessed a $75 late fee in addition to the application fee.